What to do When your Check-in Bag doesn't Show up?


When bringing a check-in suitcase on your trip, you face the risk of not having your bag at the other end. The risk is mainly present when you have a connection. The shorter the connection, the higher the risk. On direct flights, it's pretty safe. When you connect, your bag has to be transferred on your next plane. If your connection is less than two hours, there's a possibility that the baggage crew won't have time to complete the transfer. Now, I took almost 200 flights and it happened to me twice, once with a connection in Toronto and once with a connection in Chicago. 

What do you do if this happens ?

Delayed bag confirmation number form

Delayed bag confirmation number form

  • Always have a change of clothes, mainly underwear, and a toothbrush in your carry-on. 
  • Always have your bag check-in receipt. It has the tracking number and it's the proof you had a bag.
  •  When your bag doesn't show up on the carousel, make sure the off-loading is actually completed. Some airports announce it or indicate it on the display. Sometime the bags come in wave with a few minutes inbetween as they unload various wagon on the little bag train. If it's really not there, head to the delayed bags counter. It's generally close by. 
  • When giving the bag information at the counter, give them your bag receipt, the delivery address, and a contact phone number. If possible, give them an email and a second phone number. Make sure you also tell them until when you'll be staying at the delivery location. 
  • They'll give you a paper with a confirmation number and a phone number you can call.  Keep that number. If something goes wrong, it's your point of reference. You can also use it to track the progress online. The number looks something like this: Airport Code, Airline Code, Unique 5-digit number (i.e. YULAC12345)
  • Depending how far you flew and how regularly there are flights from your bag's current location to your location, you should receive the bag within the next 24 to 48 hours.
  • Don't be impatient with the person at the counter. You only risk to cause communication issue, get the delivery information confused, and not get your bag. The person at the counter really had nothing to do with the fact your bag is lost or delayed. They have to deal with angry people who lost their bags all day long. If you are nice to them, it can go a long way and you'll probaly get better information.
  • When packing your check-in, just assume it may happen, put your essentials in your carry-on, and don't freak out.

Travelling requires flexibility and the calmer you are when a sticky situation happens, the faster and better it'll get resolved. I know we get very tired and exhausted after long flights and it's easy to blow a fuse. That's why accepting ahead of time that things may not go your way will make it that much easier to remain calm in the moment.



Who Am I? I'm many things. I'm passionate about tons of stuff. I love travel. I love self-improvement. I'm a sucker for optimization, efficiency, and minimalism. I renewed with mathematics and science, those are so amazing. Astronomy and chemistry are just plain awesome! I'm a student, a mentor, a traveler, a learner, an artist, an animator, and Disney brings me tears of joy! I love to grow and I will never stop! So who am I? All that and everything else I have not discovered about myself yet. It's a never ending answer!

Qui suis je? Je suis beaucoup de choses. Je suis passionné des tonnes de trucs. J'adore voyager. J'adore la croissance personnelle. Je suis vendue à l'optimisation, l'efficacité et le minimalisme. J'ai renoué avec les mathématiques et les sciences, des mondes tout simplement incroyable. L'astronomie et la chimie sont tout simplement génial! Je suis étudiante, mentor, voyageuse, artiste, animatrice et Disney m'apporte des larmes de joie! J'aime me pousser à fond et je ne cesserai jamais! Alors, qui suis-je? Tout cela et tout le reste que je n'ai pas encore découvert de moi-même. C'est une réponse sans fin!